Saturday, 5 February 2011

David Cameron misses the mark

I have just read David Cameron's speech at the Munich Security Conference.  He does begin by rightly define Islam Extremism and emphasising that this is not the same as being a devout Muslim, it is not linked to their strength of faith merely political ideology.  He also rightly states:

"The point is this: the ideology of extremism is the problem.  Islam, emphatically, is not.
Picking a fight with the latter will do nothing to confront the former."

However, he then goes on to say that the problem is one of identity and segregation, the suggestion is that multiculturalism has failed and this is the reason for Muslim terrorists.  

Now I'm not going to say that segregation isn't a problem, however multiculturalism isn't.  Multiculturalism is living side by side and having your culture influenced by others and vice versa, it has been a great thing for the UK over the past 60 years and should be celebrated.  I admit that there are certain places in the UK where it feels like an exclusively immigrant zone, more should be done to integrate so that they feel they are a UK citizen.  However this is not the reason for extremism.  

It appears to have passed DC by that the problem of Muslim extremism has only happened in this country after 2001 when we invaded Afghanistan and subsequently (the illegal war in) Iraq.  He states that this is not the reason for extremism, but my argument is that these Muslims would have felt less disenfranchised with the UK if it didn't see our foreign policy as incompatible with their own beliefs.  It's not so much Muslims vs the world but it appearing as if Muslims as a whole have been targeted, blamed for the dreadful events of September 11th.  Our foreign policy is the single most important factor in disenfranchising these people (a very small minority) and it seems to me like DC wants to deflect attention away from our actions (which he supported).  The worry is that he is going to use this rhetoric to pass illiberal laws that target Muslim communities, which coupled with his illiberal immigration policy is really starting to worry me.

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